Tuba-Less 1.4: Mindfulness Edition
Blogging on the road is hard- that's probably why I didn't do it. Oops. Regardless, here we are. I have returned home from my first stint with the Blue Devils this summer and now I am preparing to move to Boston in just a few days. I have started practicing again, but before I dive into what it has been like starting back up, I am going to cover one more topic I explored during my time off. As always, thank you to those of you who have continued reading or are deciding to check this blog out for the first time.
Essential to quality music making is the act of being present. In performances, it is easy to get distracted. We begin to over-analyze our technique and allow feelings caused by nerves to stick with us. The best performers are the ones who can remain cool and focused. By focusing intently on the art and the sound, allowing those bad feelings to pass instead of holding onto them, we can remain present in our performing and create something representative of the hard work we have done.
A way to practice this away from your instrument is through meditation and mindfulness. By learning to observe our thoughts and prevent ourselves from getting too involved with them, we can learn to remain present. Mindfulness teaches us to become aware of our surroundings, our feelings, and our thoughts. By doing this we can acknowledge those things and then return our focus to the task at hand instead of letting them consume us. Personally, I use an app for guided meditation called Headspace.
This is one of the first videos I saw explaining the practice of mindfulness from the Headspace app. Before I began practicing meditation, I found myself latching on to thoughts and allowing them to take me wherever they were going to go. I still do this at times. This has a tremendously negative impact on not only my playing, but my well being. Learning to allow those thoughts and feelings to come and go has not only been great for all the changes I experience as a young adult, but specifically to time away from my instrument, which can be very stressful.
Picking up your instrument after an extended period of time away can be difficult. It can feel like you have regressed. Like you have forgotten things. Instead of letting the insecurity and negativity control your thoughts and actions, simply take things as they come and remain present. By practicing this during the time away from your instrument, you can ensure that you treat yourself with kindness and patience as you get things going again.
-Scroll down for Pic of the Day and Today's Listening-
Pic of the Day: The tiny Santa Barbara Airport that I flew out of to come back to Georgia
Today's Listening: 'Intimate Casual' by Andrew Shapiro